World Affairs

In November, the international community watched as Americans elected Donald Trump the next President, leaving many with unanswered questions about what lies ahead for international development. The United States government is currently the biggest foreign aid donor in the world. Washington’s actions also influence how much other governments contribute to global efforts to eliminate poverty, reduce hunger, empower women and local actors, and increase access to education and healthcare.

Trump said little about his stance on international aid throughout his campaign. Republicans have supported foreign aid in the past because it contributes to national security at home, which is also one of Trump’s biggest priorities. However, if his nationalist ideologies and “Make America First” rhetoric are any indicators of future actions, foreign aid — despite representing less than 1% of the national budget — may be on the chopping block.

What progress has been made, and what hope is there for the world’s most vulnerable people? Dana Hyde, the CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Richard Leach, the President and CEO of World Food Program USA, will share insights about major achievements in recent years and shifting priorities for the future.

Dana Hyde, Chief Executive Director of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Richard Leach, President and CEO of the World Food Program USA, are in conversation.

The discussion is moderated by Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1674

Direct download: 01_11_17_US_Development.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:36am PDT

The US Presidential elections were a wake-up call to many that millions of Americans are angry and want drastic change. While our new global economy has benefited many, they feel that they have been left behind – losing their livelihoods and income to companies abroad. As a nation, we need to do something about these issues, although Trump’s promises and actions to pull out of international trade deals may not be the only or best solution.

The problem, according to Council on Foreign Relations’ Edward Alden, is not globalization itself, but the failure of domestic policies to address its associated challenges. US policymakers have long recognized the challenges that Americans would face in the new global economy, but mainly looked the other way.

In his book, Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, Alden explains why support for free trade is disappearing, and how to improve the situation for citizens whose lives have been negatively impacted by it. What can we do to minimize these impacts, and how can we build a workforce that is adaptable and resilient to rapidly changing global markets? What potential federal policies would develop more internationally competitive industries and improve the overall American economy?

Speaker Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The conversation is moderated by Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1713

Direct download: 05_10_17_Edward_Alden.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:51pm PDT

Theodore Roosevelt once famously said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," in reference to his stance on foreign policy. Today, many Americans - wary of waging another war and maintaining a military presence abroad - question this approach.

But given the threats posed in today’s increasingly dangerous and nuclearized world, can the US afford to shy away from hard power? Can diplomacy be divorced from military power? Would deploying forces and strengthening our naval or military presence to thwart Russian hostilities, irrational regimes and China’s transgressions in the South China Sea serve to weaken America’s interests and security?

Dr. Eliot Cohen, a former senior advisor to George W. Bush, professor at Johns Hopkins University and renowned political commentator, will make the case that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy. Sharing insights from his recent book, "The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force," Dr. Cohen will provide a nuanced argument for the use of force in the service of American security and ideals.

Speaker Eliot Cohen is the Robert E. Osgood Professor of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

The moderator for this discussion is Stephen Krasner, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and Senior Associate Dean for the Social Sciences at the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University.

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1702

Direct download: 05_09_17_Eliot_Cohen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:03pm PDT

North Korea has threatened the United States with a “merciless” nuclear attack. While not a new threat, they may soon be capable of actually making good on that promise. North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, has recently been pushing to develop a missile capable of hitting the US, as witnessed by a series of tests. The likely target? California.

Meanwhile, escalating military tensions in the region have further isolated the nation both politically and economically, setting the stage for long-standing internal human rights abuses to worsen. Situations involving political prison camps, unresolved disappearances and the abduction of Japanese and South Koreans are all cause for concern. Add to that savory list, power struggles within the family itself. According to Malaysian authorities, Kim Jong-un's half-brother was recently murdered with chemical weapons in an airport in Kuala Lumpur, further escalating tensions.

How serious is the risk of a North Korean nuclear attack? How will Trump’s reaction and willingness to work with our allies in the region influence the situation? And what obligation, if any, does the international community have to intervene on any and all fronts? Experts Philip Yun, Director of the Ploughshares Fund, and Daniel Sneider, Associate Director for Research at Stanford’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, will share their insights.

SPEAKERS

Daniel Sneider
Associate Director for Research, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Philip W. Yun
Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ploughshares Fund

MODERATOR:

Neil Joeck
Research Scholar, Institute for International Studies, University of California, Berkeley

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1708

Direct download: 04_12_17_North_Korea.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:48pm PDT

Tension in US-Russia relations is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s 2012 invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s military intervention in support of the Assad regime in Syria — along with the unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 US election — have fanned these flames.

President Trump insists that he will prioritize healing the relationship and that Moscow can be an important partner in the fight against terrorism and other issues. However the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria followed by a US retaliatory airstrike against the Russian-backed Assad regime have raised the stakes and the risk of greater use of force. What can be done to avoid accidental or unintended military confrontation in the Middle East or in Europe? Will Russia’s interference in our domestic politics have lasting repercussions? In what ways can we collaborate with Russia on fighting the risk of nuclear terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction? Will Trump’s approach lead to stronger US-Russia cooperation, or is the relationship too broken to fix?

Andrew Weiss, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will share his perspectives on the future of US-Russia relations as well as key policy recommendations to manage the bilateral relationship, drawn from a two-year, high-level, and bipartisan task force on U.S. policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. The task force was convened jointly by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Chicago Council for International Affairs.

Speaker Andrew Weiss is Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

 
The conversation is moderated by Carla Thorson, Senior Vice President of Programs at World Affairs.
 
For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1716
 
Direct download: 04_11_17_Andrew_Weiss.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:16pm PDT

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